By Srianthi Perera

Gilbert is simplifying the process of paying utility bills online with a new customer portal due to launch early April.

Here are the features of the new portal:

  1. Rather than signing into one system to view the billing statement and sign into another system to pay the bill, customers will be able to access their statement and pay the bill with a single sign-on.
  2. In addition to paying with credit cards, customers will be able to make payments from their checking or savings accounts, using eCheck.
  3. The payment method may be saved in the system, eliminating the need to key in the information each time.
  4. Email or text alerts may be set up to notify when statements are ready. If the payment method is saved, a text may be used to pay the bill.
  5. A new, 24-hour, automated voice response system that may be used to check the balance or make a payment.

The portal will incorporate many of the features that residents have requested, said Leslie Giltner, the town’s customer service manager.

The town has 85,000 utility accounts, 30,000 of which use the Autopay system. While 17,000 receive electronic notices (paperless billing), the town mails about 65,000 paper statements to customers each month.

Gilbert is hoping the user-friendly portal will attract more customers for electronic billing.

“We’re really going to make a big push through our portal to get more and more customers signed up for the electronic billing,” Giltner said. “We save on postage and printing.”

Giltner said that paperless billing customers will need to sign up again, but Autopay customers will be able to transfer their information to the new system.